Greece: Hijab Frappe

Greece: Hijab Frappe

As head-scarfed Muslim women proliferate on the streets of fiercely Orthodox Christian Greece, a daring play staged in Athens is breaking some deep-rooted social taboos about Islam.

"Can you be a Greek Muslim or a Greek Bahai? Are you Greek if you're atheist? Should there be a mosque in Athens? What to do with Muslim kids during religion class? [These] are some questions the play raises," said Cassie Moghan, a British multimedia artist involved in the show.

An all-female cast of Greek and expatriate women perform "Hijab Frappe," a play irreverently examining the issues stirred up when a homogeneous, immigrant-exporting country becomes Europe's southeastern gateway.

Characters such as a conservative Athenian housewife, a recent immigrant from Iran, and a Greek convert to Islam struggle with their prejudices in a range of battlegrounds in their daily lives: bus stops, schools, and fashion shows.

The convert embraces her new religion's strictures on eating pork and drinking alcohol but without sacrificing late-night music gigs; the housewife can relate to "foreigners" as long as they accept her patronizing them, and sputters "isn't our Jesus good enough for you?" to the "traitorous" Greek convert to Islam; and the Iranian woman (who wears her hijab only because her husband demands it) is dazzled by the freedom, color, and vivacity saturating her new surroundings.

"In the UK I saw true hate in the eyes of Brits street-fighting with Pakistanis," said [*], an actress with Yemeni roots who has lived in Greece most of her life. "Greeks are fundamentally good, they eventually open up to outsiders."


Source: Christian Science Monitor (English)

[*] : name removed per request

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